David Hart, a former International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) official, pleaded guilty to charges he participated in an extortion cover-up by another union official, dubbed “Union Official A,” according to a law enforcement official release announced last week. The 42-year-old Hart, of East China Township, Michigan, served as Financial Secretary and Chief of Staff for Operating Engineers Local 324, a labor union that represents more than 18,000 individuals operating heavy machinery in the State of Michigan.
Documents obtained by Breitbart Texas reveal that while Hart was employed by the organization, he served under “Union Official A,” an elected union official who maintained and controlled a fund called “the election fund.” The fund was specifically set aside to cover any expenses “Union Official A” or associates within Operating Engineers Local 324 may incur during a run for re-election.
Between 2003 and 2012, “Union Official A” forced employees and business agents of Operating Engineers Local 324 to pay a weekly fee of $100, a total of $5,200 per year, to the “election fund.” “Union Official A” made it very clear that anyone who refused to pay the fee would face immediate termination. During the nine years, “Union Official A” made good on threats at least twice, firing two employees who complained about the fees.
Not only was David Hart admittedly well aware of the existence of the “election fund” and the threat to union employees who hesitated to comply, in August, 2012, he assisted in transferring money from the “election fund” bank account to distribute to “Union Official A” and others in an effort to conceal the crime. He failed to report a single thing to authorities.
As part of his plea agreement, Hart has agreed to pay $37,000 in restitution, faces up to three years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
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